Homemade Crumpets - You Can't Beat 'Em

Homemade crumpets. Have you ever? You really should.

These were remarkably easy and totally scrumptious.

And, if you're secretly thinking, "They may be remarkably easy but they actually look remarkably unlike crumpets," fear not. All you need is a set of crumpet rings and your crumpets will look - well - crumpety.

Now, I am a bread-baker. This is a bread website. Quite what a crumpet recipe is doing on here is anyone's guess.

Actually, it was this photo that inspired me, along with an email from the owner of those hugely-more-photogenic-than-mine crumpets. I think we're all agreed that a few crumpet-rings (actually, they're called 'poachette rings') would go a long way to improving my crumpet-style but I haven't bought any yet, so, rather than miss out on homemade crumpets altogether, I'm winging-it, freestyle.

Crumpets are surprisingly bread-like. They are, after all, made from a mixture of flour, yeast and salt. It's a very slack mixture - hardly something you could call 'dough' but nevertheless yeasty and floury. 

We love crumpets, in our house, but I do find that bought ones tend to be quite stodgy and very salty. So, tempted by Pluralza's photos, crumpets have made it into my repertoire.

What I should say at this stage, probably, is: If you want to make crumpets, find Delia's recipe. There's a lady who really knows what she's talking about.

But, hey. I'm not one to be daunted by a little recipe-tinkering, so, I tried out a few crumpet methods and came up with an easy-peasy one of my own. It's the simplest and most effective way I could find to make tasty homemade crumpets. There is no last-minute baking powder or bicarb. You don't even need to faff about with poachette rings (though, I grant you, they would improve the appearance A Lot).

Homemade Crumpets - You Can't Beat 'Em
(Makes about 12)

500g/17 oz/3⅓ cups strong plain flour
800ml/27 fl oz/3⅓ cups milk (non-dairy is fine)
2 tbsp instant dried yeast (yes, really!)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

1. Find a really big bowl. This crumpet batter is going to grow.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients.

3. Warm the milk. I poured mine into a large bowl and microwaved it on full power for 2 minutes. This step is optional but will hurry the fermentation process up a bit - fridge-cold milk would make for very slow yeast activity.

4. Add the milk to the dry ingredients, little by little, using a whisk to mix it in. Adding the milk gradually allows you to make a smooth batter. If you add it all at once, you'll end up with lumps of flour that won't mix in properly, which is not fatal but better avoided.

5. Leave the batter to ferment. And wow! When you return to it, after, say, 45 minutes, it will have doubled in size and be all bubbly and wobbly, like some kind of creature with a life of its own. Yeah.

6. Gather your entire family, plus passers-by and other interested parties, to witness the scooping of the batter because that is Something Else. You're going to have to make crumpets now, just to see this for yourself.

7. Anyway. It's time to fry the crumpets. My frying pan is non-stick but I still used a tiny bit of oil. You know your pan: oil it if you need to. Heat up the pan to a moderate heat. I used the same setting as I use for pancakes, if that's any help.

If you have crumpet rings, aka poachette rings, now is the time to deploy them. Grease and preheat the rings in the pan. Pour batter into the rings until they are just over half full.

If you are freestyling, like me, ladle the batter directly into the pan.

Either way, cook the crumpets until the bubbles burst on the surface before turning them over to cook the other side for a couple of minutes, until browned.

If the batter seeps out of the crumpet rings or runs all over the pan, it is too thin. Whisk in a little more flour and try again.

If holes refuse to form on the surface, the batter is too thick. Whisk in a little extra milk and try again.

Free-form crumpets turn out thinner than their ringed counterparts. This is no bad thing. They resemble drop scones (aka Scotch Pancakes) but with a definitely crumpety flavour. They may be more of a pikelet, though I'm on shaky ground with my terminology here. Either way, they could be eaten straight from the pan or, later, toasted, as is traditional for crumpets. Ours were greedily devoured with lashings of butter (do I say this about every baked offering?! I am rather fond of butter) and jam. ("Jam?!" my neighbour cried, askance, "On crumpets?!" Whatever next.)

How were yours?

Did you make some? I love it when people tell me they have been using my recipes. Please let me know how you got on.

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  1. Once upon a time, in Delia's recipe, there was the addition of half a teaspoon of bicarb dissolved in a drop of milk and added to the batter just before cooking the crumpets. I still do them like that but I no longer find this in her recipe.

    1. Yes, I have seen that addition in some recipes too. This works fine without.

  2. Erm not sure where I went wrong but I followed the recipe and they are tasty as anything, but I think I have enough batter/dough to make about 50!! I have made 10 and haven't dented the amount in the bowl ha ha...

  3. Can you prepare the mixture and leave it overnight?

    1. I haven't tried doing that but I think it would be ok, so long as you chill the mixture, to slow down the yeast, otherwise it might run out of energy before you come to cook it. Make sure you have a really big bowl because you don't want the dough all over the fridge! This mixture expands a lot.


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